Published on December 18th, 2020 | by David Marshall
Episode 119: The Soom Shale
The Soom Shale is an Ordovician lagerstätte in the Western Cape of South Africa. Whilst it lacks the diversity of organisms seen in other lagerstätten, such as the Burgess Shale or Chengjiang, it more than makes up for it in the fidelity of preservation.
The taphonomic pathway to the fantastic preservation in the Soom Shale is long and complex, reliant not only on local conditions, but also ties into global climatic events. It’s vitally important when interpreting fossils to understand the taphonomy as it provides so much context as to what you can see in fossils and, as equally important, what you can’t.
Joining us for this episode is Prof. Sarah Gabbott, a taphonomist from the University of Leicester, UK.